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DEVELOP A MODEL TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PROCESS FOR IMPROVING THE MOBILITY OF VETERANS There is a strong need for a "how-to" toolkit describing how communities could implement improvements to the mobility of veterans. This report has described very different instances of transportation services that improve the mobility of veterans; a number of these services can be described as "home grown" operations that fulfill obvious transportation needs but might have been even more effective had they followed widely used planning tools and practices. This report has provided (in Chapter 5) some initial data collection tools that are needed to start the transportation planning process, but much more work needs to be done in the area of developing a model transportation planning process for improving the mobility of veterans. Whenever a need to engage in new ventures presents itself, planning is critical. The toolkit would describe what steps to take, who to involve, and the results that are needed. Instructions have been developed for each of the implementation steps below for coordinated transportation planning,45 but previous efforts have not included techniques for involving VA or VSOs. This needs to be done. The generally recommended implementation steps46 are as follows: Step # 1--Initiate the Improvement Process. Form a task force or steering committee and decide to move forward. Step # 2--Analyze Existing Conditions. Understand issues, needs, and circumstances, and define local conditions. Step # 3--Establish Focus, Consensus, and Direction. Agree on the problem, develop a consensus, and set a direction. Step # 4--Design Alternative Courses of Action. Develop alternative coordination strategies. Step # 5--Assess Alternative Options. Evaluate the alternatives and select the coordination option to implement. Step # 6--Implement the Preferred Choice. Formulate action plans and implement coordinated transportation services. Step # 7--Evaluate and Improve the System(s) Implemented. Review and evaluate progress. Burkhardt, J., Nelson, C.A., Murray, G., and Koffman, D. (2004). TCRP Report 101: Toolkit for Rural Community Coordinated 45 Transportation Services, Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. 46 Ibid. 75